Government to increase disability employment support

The Government has made a pledge to support thousands more disabled people into gaining mainstream employment.

The commitment came in its March response to the Sayce review, which was commissioned to look at how its £320 million protected budget for disability employment could be used more effectively.

The original review was published last summer and recommended doubling the number of people that are able to use “Access to Work”, and increasing the overall numbers securing specialist disability support to 100,000 within existing resources, with further expansion in the longer term.

In its response, the Government said that it would be making an extra £15 million available for Access to Work, so helping, by its calculations, a further 8,000 disabled people to enter work or to retain their job.

It also said that it was reducing its current subsidy to specialist employer Remploy from the beginning of the new financial year and ceasing funding to loss-making factories, with 36 out of 54 having to close.

That move was condemned by the TUC as consigning 1,752 disabled workers “to the labour market scrap heap”.